Chapter 9. Cognitive perspectives on embodiment

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This chapter focuses on theories of embodiment and relevant empirical findings. The embodied approach in cognitive science claims that cognition is based on action. It argues that external stimuli evoke sensorimotor activations in the observer. Specially, it has been suggested that during action observation, corresponding motor programs are activated in the observer. This is supported by the discovery of mirror neurons and evidence of interactions between perception and action production. Moreover, it has been argued that humans represent other people’s intentions and beliefs in an interpersonal setting. Humans seem to be able to automatically integrate other individuals’ (anticipated) behaviour into their own (re-)actions, which allows the prediction of other people’s actions and fast and flexible reactions in social situations.


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